Are you wondering why you don’t have many visitors to your site? Wondering why you are not making more sales or getting enquiries from your website?
Maybe your customers can’t find you. Maybe your seo isn’t up to scratch. Before you rush off and hire me 😉 there are a few simple things you can do yourself to check your site’s seo performance.
1. Site Index Check
Type site:yourdomain.com into any search engine to see what pages from your website are indexed by that search engine. I recommend you check Google first as they are the biggest boys in the playground. This is a true way of finding out what pages are listed. It’s more accurate than Google Webmaster, which can take up to a week to catch up. Which bring me to my next point…
2. Create a Google Webmaster account
It’s simple to set up and gives you valuable information about possible errors and performance issues. You need access to your server to upload the verification file.
Webmaster Tools will tell you the following:
- What pages are indexed (although sometimes not in real time)
- If there are any html errors
- How to improve your meta tags (title, description)
- What search queries showed your website in the results
- Internal and External links to your site
Very handy stuff as it gives you information on how Google sees your site, which directly effects your rankings.
3. Keyword Rank Check
Check where your website ranks for main keywords in a major search engine like Google. If you can’t find your website for important keywords and phrases, then your clients won’t either!
There a 2 of ways of doing this, the long way and the short way. Funny I like to use the long way sometimes. Here they are:
- Type in the search word manually in any search engine. You need to go “incognito” or activate “private browsing”, depending on what program you are using. This is so your personal preferences aren’t saved and therefore your search results won’t be biased. In Google Chrome, hit Ctrl + Shft + N to open the Incognito window. In Firefox and Internet Explorer, hit Ctrl + Shft + P. Now you will get true search results as seen by someone who has never visited your site before.
- In Firefox you can download a plugin called “Rank Checker” from seobook.com. Within the settings you can chose the search engines that it will check. Once installed you can open it and check multiple keywords for a site as ranked by 3 search engines. A very accurate tool and highly recommended. You can compare results between google.ie and google.co.uk or google.com for example.
4. Check For Broken Links
Broken links in your site can effect your ranking hugely. A simple way to check for broken links, page by page, is by using W3C Link Checker. Just enter the URL of the page you want to check and it will compile a report for you highlighting any broken links that may exist. You can then fix any issues or get your webmaster to carry out the repairs.
5. Images V Text Navigation
Your site might be a design superhero, but if images are used for navigation or overly used on a page at the expense of text then search engines won’t like you. Check that your navigation menu is text based or that at least there is an alternative text nav somewhere on your page. Images are like blank spaces to search engines. They can’t read the content of the image so if you have a fancy image based navigation, the SE won’t be able to crawl your site. Ask your web designer to either change to text navigation using CSS for styling, or include an alternative text based nav in the footer of your website.
6. Welcome Page Not So Welcoming
So there you have it, some basics that should be covered before you even think about optimising your site for keywords.